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BT to invest £260m on 21CN in Northern Ireland
Thursday 22 February 2007 09:58:55 by Andrew Ferguson

The BT 21st Century Network (21CN) is set to cost some £10 billion to roll-out completely. BBC News Online reports £260 million will be invested in Northern Ireland creating an IP network which forms part of the 21CN core.

One of the first follow-ups to the roll-out of 21CN is the deployment of ADSL2+ on BT exchanges offering download speeds of up to 24 Mbps to broadband providers who buy services from BT Wholesale. We do not expect to see an IPstream ADSL2+ product, but rather a new 21CN range of products known as Wholesale Broadband Connect (wBBC). On a like-for-like basis it is believed that wBBC products will be cheaper, allowing more scope for providers to relax fair use policies or fixed limits as people embrace online video content. Trials of ADSL2+ are expected to start in some areas in 2007, with roll-out starting in 2008.

We should point out that while the headline speeds for those living closest to their local telephone exchange will triple from 8 Mbps to 24 Mbps, these benefits fall off rapidly as you move away from the exchange. Once you have a line length of 5 km or more the performance of ADSL2+ closely matches ADSL.


Posted by annie34 over 10 years ago
My brother lives near Omagh and has an ADSL connection limited to 512Kb/s. The BT cable leading to his house has been repaired many times. The BT engineers have said should be replaced but due to cost BT has not.
If BT is rolling out its C21 network, then a minimum connectivity standard should be specified, 4Mb/s SDSL.
Posted by D_A_ over 10 years ago
You missed an important part of this announcement - the fact that 160 exchanges will (apparently) be centralised into 3 "hubs" (2 in Belfast, 1 in Portadown). So how exactly is ADSL going to work when, potentially, people could now be up to 100 miles away from exchange?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 10 years ago
The 160 exchanges into 3 hubs does not mean 160 exchanges will vanish, there will still be a MSAN (a DSLAM that provides both DSL and phone service) at the local exchange building. The hubs are where the data from the MSAN in the local exchange is aggregated onto the national network. The same will be happening across the UK.

In short the length of the copper phone line will remain as it is now.
Posted by _TRIaXOR_ over 10 years ago
ADSL2+ is old hat, why dont they just deploy FTTC, typical BT, blooming short sighted :(
Posted by herdwick over 10 years ago
FTTC would use ADSL2+ as well, shirley ?
Posted by _TRIaXOR_ over 10 years ago
more than likely VDSL?
Posted by JohnUK over 10 years ago
Councils and Local Authorities charge an extortionate amount to dig up roads and allow for a ducting infrastructure to be made where it doesn't exist. Utilities and cable should be forced to share the ducting with whomever can responsibly use it, including BT, but that aside. FTTC or FTTH just is not feasible so long as the cost is so ridiculous.
Posted by herdwick over 10 years ago
ADSL2+ has the advantage of abundant hardware in the short / medium term, seen any VDSL kit for sale ?
Posted by thesimo over 10 years ago
this is good news, dunno how much it will affect me tho as im only synching at around 1300kbps right now. ill simply have to move house :)
Posted by Somerset over 10 years ago
The BBC item is just BBC NI picking up on something happening across the UK.
Posted by davydymond over 10 years ago
All the BBC NI was saying is that N. Ireland will be the first to launch the service in the UK.
Posted by _TRIaXOR_ over 10 years ago
"ADSL2+ has the advantage of abundant hardware in the short / medium term, seen any VDSL kit for sale ?"

Short to medium term is being short sighted, and as for seeing any VDSL kit up for sale.. I'll pop down to my local PC World eh? *rolleyes* Belgium and Korea have VDSL, coz its not available here doesnt mean we cant get it..
Posted by _TRIaXOR_ over 10 years ago
JohnUK, A lot of the Major cities have BT's underground ducting already (i know mine has)I may point out that your reasons are very valid however, thats why NTL/Telewest (Virin Media now) stopped cabling as the costs were enormous
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